Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel voluntarily checked into a rehab treatment facility last Wednesday in an effort to improve himself, ESPN has learned.
"Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate, and he thought the off-season was the right time to take this step," Manziel's adviser, Brad Beckworth, told ESPN on Monday. "On behalf of Johnny and his family, we're asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland."
Manziel reportedly sought out treatment to "figure out his value system," a source divulged with ESPN, and to make sure his lifestyle doesn't take away from what he's looking to accomplish on the field. The rookie QB reportedly even turned down a six-figure offer from a Las Vegas casino asking him to host a Super Bowl XLIX party.
The Browns support their 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and his decision to seek treatment.
"We respect Johnny's initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players' health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns," general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player. Johnny's privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same."
Manziel is even drawing support from players on other teams, as Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted Monday: "Folks criticize Manziel for trying to get help and laugh at overweight people in the gym...they are trying to fix a problem support them smh."
On December 27, a day before the Browns' season finale on December 28, Manziel failed to appear at the team's walk-through, triggering Browns security to check on him. Team sources told ESPN that they found a player "drunk off his a--," clearly having partied too hard the night before. Another source said, "Johnny's his own worst enemy."
Manziel threw for 175 yards through seven quarters of NFL play during his rookie year.
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